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Illinois DCEO Celebrates Black History Month

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has kicked off its yearly Black History Month campaign, aiming to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black Illinoisans, business owners, and leaders. The theme for the initiative is "Knowing the Past Opens Doors for the Future," relating to the rich history and economic impact of Black communities in Illinois.


As part of the month-long festivities, DCEO has introduced a dedicated webpage featuring various events and resources, including support for Black-owned businesses, a social media toolkit, proclamations, and more. Governor JB Pritzker recognizes the significance of Black-owned businesses, describing them as integral to the state's economic and cultural landscape. Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton echoed this sentiment, underlining the importance of supporting Black businesses to foster local community growth.


Recognizing the unique challenges faced by businesses of color in accessing essential resources, DCEO remains committed to promoting equity through targeted initiatives and support programs. Kristin Richards, DCEO Director, focused on the critical role of Black-owned businesses in Illinois' economy, emphasizing the department's dedication to their success.


Matthew J. Simpson, DCEO's African American Business Development Manager, emphasized the importance of celebrating the achievements of the state's 148,000 Black-owned businesses. DCEO's Office of Minority Economic Empowerment leads the Black History Month campaign, aiming to create an inclusive business environment for marginalized communities.


Overall, DCEO's Black History Month campaign serves as a platform to honor the past, celebrate the present, and pave the way for a more equitable and prosperous future for Black entrepreneurs and businesses across Illinois.

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